FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: A majority of Americans oppose the use of preferred pronouns in schools, according to a report released Tuesday by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
The Becket Fund’s Religious Freedom Index findings revealed a reversal in attitudes toward leftist school pronoun policies requiring that children and school employees address each other by their preferred pronouns.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe schools should not be requiring preferred pronoun usage, the 2023 index found. That compares to Becket’s 2021 findings, in which 54% of Americans said that schools should require preferred pronoun usage.
Becket offered those surveyed two hypothetical opinions and asked them to indicate which one comes closest to their own.
The first opinion read: “Smith believes that gender identity is a controversial topic. Public schools should not be allowed to implement policies to require students and employees to use a person’s preferred gender pronouns. These policies disrespect students and employees who disagree with the school administration.”
The second opinion read: “Jones believes that gender identity is settled science. Public schools should be allowed to implement policies to require students and employees to use a person’s preferred gender pronouns. These policies ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.”
While 58% of respondents agreed with Smith, 43% of respondents said they agreed with Jones. In 2021, 46% of respondents said they agreed with Smith, and 54% said they agreed with Jones.
And according to Becket, the driving impetus behind the reversal came from Americans between the ages of 25 and 44, many of whom are of age to have children in school.
“The shift in attitude on school pronoun mandates is part of the overall groundswell of support for parental rights,” said Mark Rienzi, president and CEO of Becket.
“Americans are increasingly opposed to school rules that force one-sided gender ideology onto children in the classroom and seek to cut parents out of the discussion,” he added. “That’s a welcome development for anyone who takes parental rights and the First Amendment seriously.”
Becket released its annual Religious Freedom Index on Tuesday, National Religious Freedom Day, an index that examines American attitudes on First Amendment rights.
The index surveyed 1,000 participants over the age of 18 between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, 2023, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
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